Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has accepted the blame for the club's poor start to the Championship season.
The Midlands outfit were tipped as the pre-season favourites for the title by many bookmakers following a summer which saw them bring in a host of experienced players including John Terry, Glenn Whelan and Ahmed Elmohamady.
The club have managed just one win from their opening six league fixtures, however, with their points return of six leaving them a disappointing 18th in the Championship table.
Boos rang around Villa Park yesterday as they were held to a goalless draw by one-from-bottom Brentford and, speaking to reporters afterwards, Bruce admitted that he had full sympathy for the fans.
"I was conscious of the fact that almost the whole team had been away on international duty," he said. "I don't want to make excuses but in hindsight it wasn't ideal with them all being away.
"I blame myself. They've been away for 10 days and with my experience I should have done better. I take a bit of responsibility because there was no real freshness. We were as flat as we could have been.
"It's arguably the worst we've been since I've been here. I've been here for nine months now but we today we didn't have any spark. We didn't do anything with the ball or without it. We look jaded.
"I look at myself and take the responsibility for that. I should have done better."
Next up for Bruce's side is another home encounter - this time with sixth-placed Middlesbrough - on Tuesday evening.